This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Among the many varieties of Fuchsias that have been introduced into cultivation, the Fuchsia serratifolia is one of the most distinct, and is worthy of being more extensively cultivated than it is. As it is only to be found in a few collections, I desire, with your permission, to call the attention of the readers of the Monthly to this magnificent plant, and I hope that some of them will give it a trial, as I am confident that they will find it to be a most desirable addition to their collection of Fuchsias.
Fuchsia serratifolia is a robust growing species, attaining a height of from eight to ten feet, and in habit it is stiff and bushy, with a stout erect stem and large leaves of a rich green color, the flowers being produced one from the axil of each leaf, and one from 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, and consist of a long rosy tube tipped with yellowish green, the petals being scarlet with a shade of orange, and as the flowers droop and hang below the branches they always present an elegant appearance. It is said to be a native of Peru, and flowers from November to March.
This Fuchsia requires a somewhat different mode of treatment from the summer flowering varieties. The best mode of cultivation is to take cuttings of the strong and healthy shoots about the first of March, and as soon as they are rooted, pot them off into three-inch pots, and place the plants in a light, warm place, where they will not become drawn, and as soon as the pots become filled with roots, shift into five-inch pots. As soon as all danger of frost is over, turn the plants out into the open border. The plants should be tied to neat stakes, and must be pinched back occasionally so as to form nice bushy plants. About September 10th take them up carefully and pot them, place the plants in a close place until they have taken hold of the soil. After they have taken hold they can be exposed to the sun until it is time for them to be taken into the house, where they will bloom finely during the winter months if grown in a warm, light place. After the plants have ceased to flower, they can be cut back into shape; turn them out of their pots, and re-pot them into as small a sized pot as is possible; but do not crowd the roots too much. As soon as they commence to grow, shift into larger pots and treat them precisely as recommended for young plants.
The plants can also be plunged in the border during the summer months, but I prefer planting them out, as the plants do not require so much attention, and besides they will be found to be perfectly healthy when they are wanted for the house; while plants that are plunged in pots are too often found to be unhealthy in the fall, when it is too late to afford them any remedy. For potting-soil I use two parts of well rotted sods and one part well rotted manure. I give the pots good drainage, and give liquid manure-water, weekly, during the time the plants are in blossom.